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J Neurosci Rural Pract. 2019 Jan-Mar;10(1):34-38. doi: 10.4103/jnrp.jnrp_222_18.

Is Crush Cytology of Central Nervous System Lesions Relevant in Surgical Practice Today?

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Department of Neurosurgery and Pathology, Command Hospital Air Force, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India.



Intraoperative crush cytology is a useful tool for diagnosing the lesions of the central nervous system (CNS). However, because of the development of newer and better imaging techniques, it is important to evaluate if crush cytology is still relevant in neurosurgical practice.


We evaluated the crush cytology smears in a series of cases where neurosurgical intervention was performed. We studied the role of crush cytology in the intraoperative diagnosis. We report a series of cases where intraoperative crush cytology helped the surgeon revise the surgery during the operation.

Materials and Methods:

A small portion of all CNS lesions was taken intraoperatively and the tissue was crushed between two slides. The slide was stained using the toluidine blue, Leishman stain, Pap stain and a routine H & E stain. The slides were the evaluated.


We evaluated the 50 cases of CNS lesions. We found that intraoperative crush cytology is particularly important in differentiating between neoplastic and nonneoplastic CNS lesions. It may also help in differentiating lymphomas from high-grade gliomas. Finally, crush cytology may help the surgeon in delineating the lesions during surgery.


We conclude that crush cytology remains relevant in neurosurgical practice today and it should be adopted in all neurosurgical centers as a routine diagnostic technique.


Crush cytology; central nervous system tumors; intraoperative diagnosis

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